FSU’s Thumb Turns a Shade Greener with Plans to Implement Electric Vehicle Technology

New, environmentally conscious changes are en route to FSU’s campus. The bus system that many collegiettes rely on has already seen the benefits of operating electric buses. Three electric vehicles, each sporting hashtags like #NoFuelTank or #GreenLeader, have been part of FSU’s current fleet of buses since 2013. Now, the plan is to have a fully electric-powered transportation system on campus as a result of the 10-year contract between FSU Sustainable Campus and StarMetro. By the fall of 2020, 15 of the diesel-powered buses will be replaced with battery-electric models.

FSU’s focus on sustainable transportation is important. Transporting more people with greener vehicle technology allows FSU to address the climate action initiative aspect of the Sustainable Strategic Plan. “We are striving to create a greener and more environmentally friendly campus. Hopefully, these electric buses will have a big impact on reducing carbon dioxide emissions around FSU,” said Matthew Inman, the Director of Transportation and Parking Services. Sustainable Bus notes that Florida State University will . . . eliminate over 5,000,000 pounds of carbon emissions annually, according to Proterra. The signing of this contract easily makes FSU a green inspiration to other colleges and universities. 

Courtesy: Sustainable Campus

Proterra, the new model rolling around campus

Proterra, a leading California-based electric vehicle manufacturer, describes its transit vehicles as nimble, clean and quiet. The custom-built buses have been tailored to meet FSU’s campus needs. Each bus is 35 feet long and releases zero greenhouse gas emissions, uses no liquid fuels, requires no oil changes and operates with 30 percent fewer parts than a traditional bus. The new technology of these buses plays a large role in their eco-friendliness. The buses are to be built out of recycled, durable carbon-fiber-reinforced material and will seat up to 28 people. 

Anticipated changes to the bus route?

Proterra has analyzed FSU’s bus schedule so that the existing campus routes will not change. The buses are expected to continue following all routes on the Seminole Express and Night Nole bus systems. The addition of electric charging stations around campus is to be expected. One charging station will be near Doak Campbell Stadium and the other will be located on Stadium Drive. The stations allow the buses to remain in service for up to 18 hours a day.

Courtesy: WFSU

Other modes of sustainable transportation available to FSU students

An easy and affordable way for collegiettes to commute across campus is through FSU’s reCycle Bike program. These bikes are refurbished and the fee includes biker essentials like a helmet, lock, bike lights, and more. ZipCarCarpooling and Commuter Services of North Florida are two commuter options that reduce fuel usage. These programs are reflective of Florida State’s campus goals. “Florida State’s Transportation and Parking Services Department is doing its part to become more environmentally friendly by deploying electric buses and encouraging people to walk or bike and not drive to campus,” Inman said. “That helps clean up the environment, reduces traffic, creates safer conditions for people who walk or bike on campus and generally improves quality of life.”